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Old 26th Mar 2004, 11:39   #11
wshaw
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You're an Italo Calvino man, John. Isn't there one that starts something like:

"This is the beginning of a novel by Italo Calvino"?
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 11:42   #12
amner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self
Where was your opening one from anyway, amner? The Mole one, I mean.
The Wind in the Willows, correct. Two points.
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 12:12   #13
John Self
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Yes wshaw, Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller begins as follows:

Quote:
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice--they won't hear you otherwise--"I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell; "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything; just hope they'll leave you alone.
And so on. (You can read the rest of the opening section here.) The edition I have in fact starts on the front cover, an idea which Dave Eggers thought was terribly new for You Shall Know Our Velocity just a year ago.

The Calvino has chapters which alternate between the experience of you reading the book, and the supposed chapters of the book itself, the first of which begins like this:

Quote:
The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph. In the odor of the station there is a passing whiff of station café odor. There is someone looking through the befogged class, he opens the glass door of the bar, everything is misty, inside, too, as if seen by nearsighted eyes, or eyes irritated by coal dust. The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests on the sentences. It is a rainy evening; the man enters the bar; he unbuttons his damp overcoat; a cloud of steam enfolds him; a whistle dies away along tracks that are glistening with rain, as far as the eye can see.
That Calvino! He's that clever.
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 13:43   #14
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Ah, a first line I can remember from way back:

It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr. Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter.
Malice Aforethought, Francis Iles

anyone remember the TV adaptation with Hywel Bennett?
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 13:54   #15
John Self
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Uh ... no. But I can exclusively reveal that Hywel Bennett has the same birthday as me. As does Julian Lennon. And they're the most famous ones.
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 15:05   #16
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Ahh......April 8th, that would be. What say, everyone? - shall we chip in for a Porsche? I'd be willing to collect the contributions....
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 20:52   #17
Colyngbourne
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So was it 1963 or 1944?
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 21:28   #18
John Self
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Cheeky! I didn't say birth date...
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Old 28th Mar 2004, 12:23   #19
bakunin_the_cat
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Back on message, it could be a sort of literary game. I'll be really bad at it but what the hell. Someone types in the first line of a book and everyone else has to name it.

For example, if I typed in the following:

Quote:
MANY YEARS LATER, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
you'd have to guess what book it is.

PS I know you could google for it but what would be the point? A couple of seconds basking in smugness and then what?
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Old 28th Mar 2004, 13:17   #20
John Self
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One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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